Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 goals...

ok, so here are my goals for 2011...

awesome goals you guys!

personal goals
continue weight loss. i started in august, and as of today im down 40 lbs. i have so much more to lose, but im feeling healthier and it gives me a lot of hope. and i wont lie, the reason i started the weight loss was to be able to run my dogs in agility. and already, its so much better!

be financially more responsible. which unfortunately may involve less training and showing... but times are tough!

rah's first goal is to live another year. i know it sounds terrible, but truly the main thing i want from him is going to be another year. id trade every title and every leg, to have more moments with him, on the couch next to me like he is right now.

that being said, rah's second goal is GET AN AKC UD. i want a UD, badly. rah deserves a UD. he's a terrific amazing working dog, and he deserves for the rest of the world to know how awesome he is.

other goals:
one UDX leg
one lonely OTCH point - that's all i want!

work on the moving stand and signals - no moving feet!
clarify go outs even further - longer, straighter, faster!
calm down heeling - focus on better footwork, calmer signals.
reintro some open work - we've been focusing on utility so long!


here's where the big stuff comes in - i've held her back in training so long with my own issues - i need to learn to trust her! i need to be the handler she needs - and remember to not handle her like rah, but like her own dog. in the beginning that may mean that she doesn't get shown at the same show as rah, and that rah gets handled like berlin so i dont have to handle two dogs two different ways. i need to be confident in her abilities, i need to feel secure that she will be there, and she can do it - and she can, so she will.

this mainly applies to our heeling - i get so tentative because she's such a different heeler that it makes her insecure - when we're in sync its the best heeling i've got. working bridget carlsen's methods have made this SO MUCH BETTEr - so i want to keep this up. just last night we were able to backchain an entire novice routine to her jackpot/reward and i want to keep going from there!

mainly in obedience, attitude and motivation. she has the fundamentals for all of novice, open and utility - but i want more out of her, so we have to bring it to the table. there are bits and pieces that need work (fronts, for example - at least i fail both dogs in the same place consistently!) but she knows her job if i can just explain to her what i want in a fair manner.

in agility, i want to finish all her novice titles and move onto open.
we need to clarify contacts (as in, she needs to do them ) and in doing so, i need to clarify my release and reward for the contact behavior.
i need to work weave entrances - she needs to learn to collect herself better and nail her entrances.
obstacle discrimination and in doing so, STOP THE TUNNEL SUCKING. when stressed or confused, or sometimes just because, berlin sucks into the tunnel. any side.

all in all, i just need to be a better handler for her. i am spoiled by rah who for the most part does his job no matter what i do (or do not) do - berlin is not that dog and the slightest shoulder movement, the faintest flick - she's going to read that - and worse, she gets pissed off at me for screwing up

not my dog, but im showing him this coming year - and i am going to put a CDX on that dog come hell or high water!!!! like rah, he deserves the title!!!!

is three dogs enough for goals, or do i need a fourth to show? hmmmmm........time will tell

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

couldnt be prouder...

i just casually looked at the CDSP rankings that came out yesterday and found out that rah is ranked, TWICE! for 2010...

this is the third year in a row rah has achieved national rankings - in 2008 he ranked in APDT and CDSP (berlin also front and finish ranked in rally this year), in 2009 he ranked through front and finish for OPen A, and for 2010 he ranked in CDSP ...

#17 in novice C
and tied for #9 in open A !

I'm so proud of him!

Monday, December 27, 2010

last week, and the goals - looking backward and forward

there isn't any class this week because of the inbtw holiday-ness. class last week was not so memorable. berlin was maintaining position but head position was totally off. she was very into multi-tasking, and i certainly didnt have her undivided attention. rah was better but had his issues too - we mainly worked go outs and signals (surprised?). wed night i was the only person in utility because everyone else was sick so i did a straight run through of a B class and we saw exactly where rah loses it - because he gets soooooo hyped up that he isn't able to focus. and we noticed the whole mouth thing again (i think i posted about that before - he cant think with his mouth open!)...

so before we get into the goals for 2011, lets look at what happened with 2010 goals...

we have one leg! and wow, is utility heartbreaking

- we have one leg!
- UKC CD and CDX
- we haven't shown in UKC at all this year

we haven't shown in CDSP since we finished our CDX-H - in part due to time, and in part due to finances



2 legs towards this, but we haven't shown in APDT in over half a year...

- start preparing for UDX legs at matches
i have to work on this more - doing utility first seems to blow rah's mind for open...

- continue working fronts for fluency

always a work in progress

- work on calm and control in the ring

getting better, he's learning to think!

- retrain heel position?
good luck. ha.

- finish an agility title (any agility title!)

since our diagnosis of cardio in february, rah hasn't shown in any agility. im still debating on if i will ever let him...

- decrease the amount of vortex behaviors we experience when we get stuck in behavior loops
yes, this has been decreased a bit - through calm control, some key corrections, and more clarity as to what his job is.

- work on the moving feet on signals, moving stand, and all behaviors that involve a wait
its getting there. this has been the most frustrating thing, as this alone has kept me from getting multiple UD legs...

- earn 1 score above 195 from a B class
sadly, no - rah wasn't shown much in open B this year.

compete at AllStars in August - finish in the top 10
rah did compete in TWO venues - and placed 15th in one, 7th in the other! he was placing in open as well until the last round, with the fateful high jump crash... no need to relive.

- win the db relay!!!
well, i won it - with THE OTHER DOG berlin was on the winning team

- continue working on obedience outside - attention and repetition
i think im giving up on him here

- continue working on male judge issues
he successfully has shown to a few men this year, and i will continue to show him and as he understands his job and focus is there, he seems to be less concerned except when scary things like ring gates fall!

- to not feed into his franticness when he's soaring higher and higher - remain calm and collected myself and be a rock to his wild ship in the sea
this will always be my bugaboo - not matching his frantic hectic behavior with my own.

- work on the glove shaking
heaven help us...


berlin hasn't shown in asca since early this year, where stays kept us from earning our first leg. i have started to completely retrain her obedience as i was not happy with her attitude...

see above - she did get two BN legs but i never entered her in akc novice.


no UKC shows this year

not yet - i held her back to show her in all star in novice

2 legs! again held her from finishing for all star

- nope

nope! no apdt in a looong time

- continue training for open and perfect that
she's working open and working nicely - but took a step back (as i said above) to retrain some basics and motivation/drive stuff.

- start training for utility further
yes, she's getting there! cute go outs, pivots are nice, the glove will also be an issue for her.

- complete health testing
done! but...

- UDC Breed Survey if she's able to?
i ended up spaying her before she could do this!

- NADAC Jumpers and Tunnelers titles
no NADAC shows this year- HOWEVER we have shown in AKC in the past month and have 1 NAJ, 2 NA and 1 NF legs!

- work on attention at start lines - both getting solid stays and attention nonstop on me while rah is barking in the crate
this has been a work in progress but things have been looking wonderful!

- work on pet dog behaviors including never leaving your mother, even if you see your best friend in the world nearby
this is getting much much better.

- compete in AllStars in Aug - finish in the top 10
yes, she did! however, a stupid mistake on MY part knocked her out of top 10

- scent articles!
yes, we're starting and she's oh so cute!

- work on appropriate times to protect the mom v. inappropriate

- to not let her push my buttons - the world does not have room for our bitch-fights.
i truly truly think this has been our biggest change...

- increase fluency for fronts
working that as we speak...

so next, our goals for 2011....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

class and match

so, i still have to post about last years goals and the new ones...

but we will focus on the past few days first :) sunday i had planned to stay home with the dogs, but one of my friends got sick and gave me her match entries. i brought berlin planning on just working her outside the ring, but when we got there i was able to get her two spots as well.

berlin went first - i had her kibble outside the ring and worked the entire thing a la bridget - and it went awesome, if i do say so. i really like matching when both my trainers are there by the way - its very helpful for me to have them there and they can see how things work out...

i intended to do a straight run through of novice - i dont always treat a match like a show, but i wanted to see where we were. berlin did fairly well, if i do say so myself - no food on me at all. she daydreamed a bit during heeling and didn't always get my cues for halts, but she was THERE and WITH ME - not the head position iw anted and i didnt always have attention. but she was there!! and i did off leash heeling - this is big because she hasnt been off leash in 2 years almost, except for last week! and she did LOVELY. and she did stays!!!! so i was very pleased.

rah had 2 utility entries - and he was predictably crazy. articles were perfect, gloves we of course had the "i pick the glove i dont need to look at you" issue, but we worked through it. signals we worked a lot of rewarding the stand - go outs were broken. i didnt do a good enough job telling him what we were doing and he had problems marking and focusing - the second run we did just go outs and signals and worked through it. he needs to understand and follow through with when i say go out, i mean GO RUN AWAY.

kathy did notice something very important for me though - aside from the fact that i give my signal for the stand funny that encourages forward motion - rah stops panting when he marks go out. so i need to watch that - when he knows where he is going, he closes his mouth and stares out - if hes panting, he isn't sure where he's going. not panting stress wise - rah pants the entire time he's in the ring, he pants from start to finish through training, he always has. if he's moving, he's panting - its just how he is. so its not that he's stressed, but i have always joked that rah's ability to focus on his job is directly correlated to how far his tongue is out of his mouth - and apparently i was right!!!!!

class will come in the next post..

Friday, December 17, 2010

disjointed much?

this is going to be all out of order, since i have so much to post!

i still have to go over berlins total agility weekend - i have courses and videos!
i also have to re-evaluate last years goals and make new goals for the upcoming year...

i tried to enter rah in the last obedience trial this coming weekend, but we got closed out. maybe its for the best, i think i need some time to decompress. ive had some major concerns (none that are necessarily gone, but i am tearing myself up about them) and worries in my life right now. mainly, i have to cut back on the training and showing of the dogs right now because the thousands i am dropping are coming back to haunt me. which totally sucks and im looking into how i am going to do this, because i am addicted!!! :)

class this week was good for everyone. berlin had a private lesson last friday and we went over my footwork for her- turns out i need to not heel her like rah because shes actually paying attention and is much more sensitive to my movements, so shes more offended when i "manhandle" the footwork. rah i have to do a lot more pressuring and body movement because he's always pushy and forgey - berlin gets weirded out by it (because it IS weird!). and we worked on some head pressure to help find fronts - because surprise surprise she's another dobe with no idea where her butt is!

wednesday we just played around but thursday was class for her - and she was awesome! im still working jackpots and cue words (a la bridget) and i do see this as being the key to getting her in the ring - she worked the entire class without a single cookie on my body. and whats more, is that we worked together on consecutively piecing together the entire novice routine. first just heeling/fig8, then added in that plus a stand, then added in the heel free, and finally did the entire routine through the recall.

again, she did this without any food present, no lures, no rewards except for at the end. we had some rough moments, but terry turned to me and said = contrary to my original thought, DO NOT break her out in between exercises - she takes her release from working as a sign that she can do her own thing. keep her heeling and talk to her, pet her, but no breaking out for games. and i did that, and voila she was there. she read all my cues, my footwork wasn't half bad, and SHE DID TWO ROUNDS OF OFF LEASH HEELING! i used my cue words before the off lead, and she did very well and nicely - in fact, in the last one i was able to get her so jazzed that she was barking and bit me! i love it.

her stays were also solid - only two butt movments but she's holding the position. i DID start to use the electronic collar on her for stays, just like rah - somehow i seem to be a failure at teaching this as a true YOU MUST STAY NO MATTER WHAT - berlin would constantly move around and reposition her butt, scoot forward /sideways. no more.

rah had utility on wed and thursday. he is wearing the e-collar the entire class, but we're using it for foot movement on the signal stand and MS - he seems to be understanding that for real, no matter what - you do not move those feet. not if i run, not if i drop food, not if i start petting or training another dog - i said stay, and i really do mean DO NOT MOVE. (trend - my dogs dont hold still well). as a backlash its only natural that he is sometimes sitting instead of reading my stand signal, but ill help him out - he's trying very hard to not be wrong.

gloves have been ok - hes actually sometimes thinking and not shaking! articles are spot on - the week prior he had some bobbles because he had two people surrounding hispile and apparently when someone pets him, he forgets what he is doing and settles in for a good scratch :) this week he did 70 foot long articles and he LOVED it - really got to move :)

go outs - we've really been working go outs, and it seems to finally click with him that when i say GO OUT i mean run in a straight line until i stop you. since i no longer have anything out there for him to go to, i want him to have a "job" out there so ive introduced hitting the stanchion as part of his job. i think i might have to put the ball out there one more time though here and there, just to remind him what hes marking. but the fact is, he's hit a dead straight 70 foot go out to a blank wall with no mark, so he SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO GO OUTS.


thus, futility.

our next show will probably be 1/16, and then 1/23 and 2/4-5
i entered all his before my financial whirlpool ;) oh well, need to finish the UD!
and both dogs are entered in a trial indoors in july - berlin has a novice entry!
more posts coming...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

had a good training session thursday - did a lot of bridget carlsen work and got multiple 30-40 step parts of heeling with no food on my body and good attitude from berlin!

today we showed in agility.

JWW was first - rear cross from 10-11 i pushed too hard and we got caught up. so she shot over 11 to 16... called her back and at 14 i wasn't turned enough and my shoulders send her to the weaves - called her back and we finished up. MOMS FAULT. should have hung back further on the RC and let her get out ahead of me.

STD - berlin took the wrong end of the tunnel each time. im not sure if she was patterning (since thats the end she took in FAST?) or if i pushed too hard and didnt wait long enough on each rear cross and she was pressured to the other end. would have been fine except i rushed her weaves EACH TIME since i managed to fix our wrong end of the tunnels. BAD MOM. we had three shots. i didnt fix myself either time. BAD BAD MOM.

our FAST plan -
after the chute she actually i think took the 3rd jump in my lead out but whatev!! she was so cute and it timed to exactly 32 seconds! good job lydia :)which is our first NF leg -- and we took second place to amy and the ever-adorable layla, the worlds best malamute!!!!!!

tomorrow is another day. berlin was AWESOME at the trial - i was skeptical at the location, but she was mooching off people, hanging out, ASKED to be pet, and didnt make a single peep or react at anyone. VERY NICE. im so proud of her behavior more than anything!!! !

Friday, December 3, 2010

Does this work
Now ???

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


i feel really bad that i havent updated this more. life seems to have gotten in the way - ive got my finger in too many pies, and worse than that - so many of the people im associating with are never happy it seems and it frustrates me to no end.

classes are screwed up - i am still without an agility class and i dont know what to do. attempts to get my old trainer back seem to not be working. and my attempt to get a new trainer in was remarkably full of fail as it imploded 2 weeks before we were set to start class.

so im still looking for a class. the problem being that my first priority is rah's UD, so i need to schedule class around when he's in class. and i work insane hours. and i cant travel that far because of those two things. and im picky and want a certain type of trainer - im not looking for run throughs, i want someone that will FORCE me to be a better trainer. i want to be a good handler- not just a "q" handler.

so, berlin is still out of class - great time to start trialing your dog, right? she has one NA leg from the williamsport trial, and this past weekend we showed one day at dream park.

it was a nice site and i will definitely be showing there again - and it was great to meet amy and layla and her brother - nice to see other familiar faces too!

unfortunately all the niceness doesn't mean we got any Q's -

our first run was FAST - our first time ever in the class and i still dont know the rules. in fact (as later reports will show) i dont really seem to know the rules period in some instances so i cost us Q's. ha ha. not.

so FAST - berlin did well. blazingly fast, she ran the course in 19 seconds. and that speed involved not a single contact, at all. she kinda hesitated at the aframe but decided to just blast ahead. and then the send - the fateful teeter. berlin ran and ran and ran right off the teeter. UNSAFE TEETER EXIT. fail. she swears she touched the yellow, it just happened to be in the air. split second decision i opted to not mark the teeter failure and the truth is, we were both trucking - she had a head of steam and well, im a fat girl running as fast as she can so inertia was simply carrying us over those last two jumps :)

standard was next - it was a close quarters run for a dog that moves. it was broad jump right into weaves and she blew past the poles - circled her and she went in, we moved and she hit all her contacts, and even did a nice sloooow teeter (she's like, wait last time you said bang it the world fell out from under me)... and then i was so concerned about her getting the right end of the tunnel (We all know she's a huge tunnel suck) i was pushing so hard i pushed her right around the tire (obstacle before the tunnel. she went past and went through the tunnel and i decided to just run the rest of the class and she nailed everything else.

apparently the heartbreak is that had i brought her back and gotten her through the tire and continued on, we would have q'd. good thing to know, huh?


JWW - this class will be our nemesis because its built for speed. im not sure i have enough handling control over her for this speed :) the problem started with my failure to execute an effective lead out pivot because berlin failed to hold a start line stay :) so extra bonus tunnel! get her back through the jumps and we needed a second time through the weaves to hit the entrance again (off sides, too much speed, we need to work collection) and i EVEN MANAGED TO PULL HER OFF THE TUNNEL. but no go because of that damned off course tunnel.

so, it was good - no q's but im happy. she is fast. too fast for me. if i can get her pointed in the right direction she easily runs over 5 yps at her slowest. but we need more attention to details and she's very sensitive to certain things (and not to others, thanksverymuchberlin i definitely said STAY)

anyway, rahs doing utility still - in salisbury MD (ill make a post about that since i have lots of videos) we failed go outs in pretty much every trial. i was frustrated and told my trainer i wasnt sure he was marking his stanchion. she turned and said at his level, he shouldnt need to see a stanchion - while he is given a verbal mark, he should know to run away. so she had to illustrate that point to my dubious mind...

80 foot go outs to nothing but a blank white wall? yeah, rah did it, and did it perfectly. 80 foot go outs to all the agility equipment but again, no stanchion? yeah again perfectly. STRAIGHT< sat on a time dead center and was fast.

so the end result is my dog is a dick.

his other bugaboo is still his signals - i need to get him to stop moving. period. he's now got his electronic collar on for this exercise. he needed the collar to clarify that when i leave you for sits/downs that a stay is a stay is a stay - so we are using it similarly for signals. just STOP MOVING RAH ITS BEING STILL FOR 10 SECONDS.

utility will be the death of me.

berlin is showing again this weekend in NY (ill see layla there too, with her handler amy!) and then we're done until january i think - i may enter rah in utility at one trial, and he's entered the first weekend of feb as well in DE. i need to look at what trials to put berlin in and dream park has about 12123123123 in feb.

i was going to take mercury out in open for lydia, but hes out of commission (obviously) for about 2 months - then we will be back in open and finishing his CDX! i told lydia she has to show berlin in agility then!

so thats me. i will try to get more videos and more posts.